By Cláudia Pereira and Germano Penalva
Two years ago Facebook, already a fever around the world, became a fever in Brazil, surpassing the Orkut. Until 2010 it was the most famous social network. It has broken social classes, languages and ages barriers. It has been undergoing processes adaptation and acceptance and use by different Brazilian goals.
In 2011, the Brazilian anthropologist Claudia Pereira from PUC-Rio (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro) with Germano Penalva (BlueID – www.theblueid.com.br), and others researchers, did a qualitative survey with 1,200 young people across the country to identify the Brazilian cultural identity inside Facebook. To study Facebook, with anthropological glasses, we must consider the diversity of ways what it is used for. There is not just Facebook, but several facebooks, each group has its own way to use it and in different groups facebook “works” in a special way. If we consider that the cultural aspects change the way how a social network is used, we start our discussion focusing it in the Brazilian context. So, how did we create the “Brazilian” Facebook? Which cultural habits change and how we can use it in our society? Facebook only exists because it is related with “offline life”; it tightens relationships, strengthens values and customs. Especially in studies of Roberto Da Matta, while remembering the “balance appears antagonism” by Gilberto Freyre, and the “friendliness” of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, we can analyze this daily changing and modification by Facebook. DaMatta (1985), the Brazilian society is opposed to the individualism inside the American society. Brazilians ultimately appear peacefull, affectionate, generous, knowing or not knowing their opponent. They call each other by nicknames, it’s very quickly and unceremoniously; they become intimate easily. In Brazil, to become a friend, you just need to know each other. Facebook in Brazil, can be analyzed as a space of “the Brazilian interaction.” The sharing is motivated, for example, by the character “kind” of our culture, among other factors. The large number of contacts added in the profiles expresses the ability to make friends quickly and can easily explain the fact that Brazil is a country that always stands out in this aspect in research about Facebook. Perhaps what was contributing to this fact is also another Brazilian feature: the unwillingness to more serious commitments, so they don’t have criteria for accepting requests for ”friendship”. ..At home we have a name and we are recognized individually and within the role of the family hierarchy. On the street we are anonymous and vulnerable to the rules and laws which we are culturally averse. On the same way, on Facebook, we like to be recognized for what we are, ours eccentricity, desires, preferences and authenticity. The border between public and private space is too thin and we confuse these two lines. So, when we mix these two spaces we feel invaded by other people.
This research will demonstrate the interaction of social networks and reproduce traditional values and customs of our society, while it creates new habits and changing fashions. You will find here 11 profiles build from our search results. Flirtbook Brazil was made in 2011 by Claúdia Pereira and for the companies Blue ID and New Vegas, with 1.200 young people aged between 13 to 35 years.